Ethiopia/Eritrea: Treatment of the Afars in Ethiopia and Eritrea since the outbreak of the hostilities in May 1998
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||15 October 1999|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ZZZ32935.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ethiopia/Eritrea: Treatment of the Afars in Ethiopia and Eritrea since the outbreak of the hostilities in May 1998, 15 October 1999, ZZZ32935.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad8173.html [accessed 5 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In 1998 about 3,000 Eritrean Afars sought refugee in Ethiopia reportedly because of"atrocities and harassment" perpetrated against them by the Eritrean government (Radio Ethiopia 5 Aug. 1998).
In April 1999, thousands of Afars reportedly fled from Eritrea to neighbouring countries, including 23 to Yemen and Djibouti, while five others were abducted. The Afars were reportedly fleeing Eritrea in fear of forced conscription (ibid.).
The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization, an Eritrean opposition party, charges that the Eritrean regime had reportedly resorted to the arrest of Afars holding responsible positions in the government and to firing them because of their unwillingness to participate in the war ((Walta Information Centre Website, 22 July 1999). The secretary general of the organisation, Ato Amin Ahmmad reportedly "called on all members of the Afar nationality to stand alongside the organization in its struggle to get rid of the Isayas regime which of late has intensified its repression of Afar nationals to vent its frustration caused by its military defeat" (ibid.).
The Centre for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) based at the University of Maryland, explains that the Afars comprise four per cent of the Eritrean population (20 July 1995). " The Afars live in Ethiopia and Djibouti in addition to Eritrea and in these states have been much more active in opposing their
respective governments than the Afars of Eritrea Afars are at risk because of their desire to reunite with other Afars in Ethiopia and Djibouti. Minorities, including the Afars, opposed the independence of Eritrea, but their numbers are so small that their opposition made little difference to those elements pushing for independence " (ibid.). The CIDCM further explains that when the border war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in May 1998, "some Afars in Eritrea initially adopted a nationalistic stance and warned Ethiopia to withdraw from Eritrean territory" (ibid.).
No reports on the situation of Afars in Ethiopia could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see the list of additional sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Centre for International Development & conflict Management (CIDCM), Maryland. 20 July 1995. "Afars in Ethiopia." [Update 25 June 1998]
[Accessed: 14 Oct. 1999]
Radio Ethiopia [ Addis in English 24 Apr. 1999]. "Eritrean Afars Fleeing Persecution, Forced Conscription -Ethiopian Report." (BBC Summary 24 Apr. 1999/NEXIS)
_____. 5 August 1998. "About 3,000 Afars Arrive in Ethiopia After Fleeing Eritrea." (BBC Summary 8 Aug. 1998/NEXIS)
Walta Information Centre Website, Addis Ababa. 22 July 1999. "Eritrean Opposition Party Says Afars Being Arrested, Sacked - Ethiopian Report." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Africa Confidential [London]. January 1998 -September 1999. Vols. 38-40. Nos. 1-25.
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. January-December 1998. Vols.35. Nos. 1-12.
Amnesty International. 1999. Amnesty International Report 1999. New York: Amnesty International USA.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998 1999 United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Press.
Ethiopian Register, Minnesota. May 1999-Oct. 1999. Monthly.
Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala]. January 1998-May 1999. Bi-monthly. Nos. 1-6.
The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. Weekly. January 1998-October 1999. Nos. 793-873.
Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. May 1998-May 1999. Monthly. Vols. 44-45.
Electronic sources: IRB databases, Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS, World News Connection (WNC)